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Todays Google Doodle (2) February 19, 2013

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Science, Teaching.
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Today is Nicolaus Copernicus 540th birthday.Quiet Monumental!

Today is Nicolaus Copernicus 540th birthday.
Quite Monumental!

The first time I heard about the work of Copernicus was in a History of Science class in University. I really enjoyed the journey through time looking at Science. Recently, I did something similar with a Yr7 class. We looked at the history of the magnets and magnetism. The students had a lot of questions and we finished with the making a compass practical.

Any subject could be Scientific!


At Zenith December 7, 2012

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Today's Pricture of the day http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap121207.html

Today’s Picture of the day

I recently began an on-line Astronomy course. I was and still am excited about it. However I have lately realised that my previous knowledge isn’t much. Slightly humbled I have spent time looking over the course material and jotting down notes.

Finding a star: Before I would open up Stellarium and match the up the stars. Now I understand the term ‘at its Zenith’ and that a star is at its highest (from an observers prospective) when on east to west journey it crosses the Celestial Meridian. Hopefully by Christmas I would be able to tell the time by looking at the night sky!

I do love the rush all this new information brings.  It’s like being a first year undergraduate – swollen with all this knowledge. I feel quite young again.

At this time of year the nights are clear so I am going to wrap up and put theory into practise.

Moon cakes* and Sunshine September 21, 2012

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Every day my alarm goes off at 6.30. This week it’s been a struggle to get up as it no longer light at this time.

What does this mean? The autumnal equinox is tomorrow (14:49 Universal Time). It’s officially the first day of fall.

The website EarthSky.org gives this explanation

Because Earth doesn’t orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23-and-a-half degrees, Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly.  We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun. 

Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally now.  Night and day are approximately equal in length.  The name ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).

As the leaves change colour and the final days of harvest draw near. I hope you enjoy the delights of this season.

*In China during the equinox, moon cakes are shared hence the title.

Ray Bradbury dies, aged 91 June 6, 2012

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A family friend introduced me to the world of sci-fi when I was in my mid-teens. He gave me a CD with the Bradbury 13 audio drama series. I loved it! My personal favorite was ‘Here There be Tygers’.

My imagination was inspired by his writing. Also many harsh and troubling truths about human nature were brought to the forefront while reading his stories. I have spent hours working through the many ideas that Bradbury provokes.  After that time I went on to discover Dr. Who, HG Wells, JRRT, The Cradleland Chronicles and Star Wars.

So here I am saying to the iconic guide who has led me to other worlds

“Thank you for the tales and the message.

For the thoughts and experiences

Rest in Peace”

The Transit of Venus May 26, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in News, Science, Teaching.
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On the 5th and 6th of June, Venus will travel on her orbital path between the Earth and Sun.

Why is this news? Good question! The next time this event will occur it will be 2117! So now is the time to test theories and add to our ever-increasing knowledge of the universe. 

Why is this of astronomical importance? The atmosphere of planets or exoplanets cause the light from the star(Sun) to bend. Compounds and elements that are present in this atmosphere can be detected.

When can I see this rare sight? In the UK the transit of Venus can be view on dawn the 6th June.

For more information look at the Astronomy.co.uk website.